All About Laminate

All About Hardwood

Choosing Hardwood Flooring

» All About Wood Flooring  
» What type of finish for your hardwood floor?
» Wood Flooring Species
» Underlayment/Adhesives
» Pre-finished or site-finished hardwood floors?
» Design Elements

Pre-Installation Information

» Installation Methods
» Tools for Hardwood Flooring
» Moisture Testing
» Acclimation of Hardwood Floors To The Jobsite

Getting It Done

» Preparing the Room/Smoothing The Subfloor
» Dealing With Moisture
» Installation of Hardwood Floors On Concrete
» Installation Prefinished Nail or Staple Down
» Installation of Floating Hardwood Floor 
» Maintaining the Floor

Additional Articles

» Finish your Hardwood Floors on Site
» Restoring old hardwood Floors

All About Area Rugs

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Tools for Wood Flooring

The tools you need will depend on the type of flooring you're installing, so look at the installation instructions before you rush out and buy new stuff.

Cutting and Drilling Tools

Power Miter Saw Makes cutting boards on an angle fast and easy
Circular Saw For removing old floor boards and cutting new boards
Saber Saw For cutting engineered boards to fit at edge of floor
Hammer Drill Drill holes in concrete.
Variable Speed Electric Drill Drills pilot holes and sets screws

Measuring & Marking Tools

Level To check subfloor for level
Chalk Line Marks working lines on floor
Framing Square Keeps cutting lines straight
Tape measure For accurate measurements
Compass Trace along wall to transfer irregularities to floor
China Marker mark holes and scribe lines
Utility Knife For cutting Sheets of foam underlayment
Butt Chisel To pry baseboards from wall and remove old flooring
Jamb Saw Cuts door jam and trim to fit flooring
Bits Powerbore, Forstner, and combination bits drill holes for plugs or to remove damaged flooring; masonry bit drill holes in concrete
Miter Box & Backsaw Cuts boards at precise angles

Installation Tools

Power Nailer Shoots nails into board tongues
Hand Plane To trim or smooth floor boards to fit
Caulking Gun For applying construction Adhesive
Ball-Peen Hammer Heavy, large faced hammer for hitting chisels.  Could substitute claw hammer
Rubber Mallet For tapping boards in place
Claw Hammer All purpose hammer
Nail set For setting nails below surface of floor
V-notched trowel For spreading tile adhesive
Putty Knife Transfers tile adhesive to subfloor
Trowel For spreading level compound
Tapping Block Specially shaped for tapping engineered boards
Alignment bar For positioning final boards at walls when installing floating floor.  Manufacturer Specific -- Could substitute pry bar
Craw Bar Pries balky boards into place
Pry Bar For prying off trim
Belt Sander To smooth high spots on wood subfloors or edges of floor boards to make them fit.

Finishing & Refinishing Tools

Synthetic lamb's wool applicator For spreading oil-based finish.  Rinse twice in clean paint thinner and dry before use
Foam Applicator For spreading water-based finish
Wide paintbrush For applying finish along the wall, in corners, and in other tight areas.  Use synthetic brush or painter's pad for water-base finish
Edge Sander For sanding tight corners and against walls
Pad Sander Does the major sanding of the floor
Sanding Block For sanding pieces by hand

Safety Gear

Wear the appropriate safety gear.  Make sure you have:
  • A respirator when working with toxic material
  • A dust mask when sanding
  • Safety goggles to prevent scraps and chips from damaging your eyes
  • Rubber gloves when working with caustic materials
  • Ear plugs -- loud power tools will damage your hearing
  • Knee pads if you'll be kneeling frequently


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